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ENDOCRINE SYSTEM



The endocrine system consists of glands and tissues that secrete hormones. Hormones are chemical signals that affect the activity of other glands or tissues of the body. Hormones influence the metabolism of cells, the growth and development of parts of the body and homeostasis. Endocrine glands are ductless; they secrete their hormones directly into the bloodstream for distribution throughout the body. They are different from exocrine glands because, exocrine glands have ducts and secrete their products into these ducts for transport to specific targets of the body. For example, the salivary glands send saliva into the mouth by way of salivary ducts. Hence, endocrine glands have no ducts and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream but the exocrine glands have ducts into which they secrete their products into for transport to specific body cavities. The pancreas is an example of a gland with both exocrine endocrine portions. 

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